Healy Speaks Out Against Recently FERC-Approved Gas Pipeline at Anti-Fracking Rally in Trenton

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In his continuing fight against the Spectra natural gas pipeline that the Houston-based company plans to run under Bayonne, Jersey City and parts of Hoboken, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy spoke out at an anti-fracking rally in Trenton last Thursday.

The pipeline was recently approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) despite protests from residents and local politicians.

The gas pipeline, which Spectra says will be among the safest in the country, will rush 800,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day under Jersey City in order to bring energy to New York City, despite environmental groups arguing the energy is not needed. Local officials, environmental organizations, and grassroots groups, however, say the pipeline is a “disaster” waiting to happen.

At the rally, Healy reiterated the city’s concerns and again stated his intention to take the issue to the federal district courts if FERC does not grant the city a rehearing. He recently discussed the possible dangers and negative effects of the pipeline running under Jersey City in an interview on NJTV Online.

Healy was one of several activists who spoke at the Trenton State House to discuss various environmental issues from fracking wastewater to new proposed gas power plants. Some of the other speakers included Assemblywoman Grace Spencer of Newark, Chair of the Assembly Environment Committee and Senator Bob Smith, Chair of the Senate Environment Committee. Other legislators, political figures and leaders of environmentalist organizations also spoke.

The rally was held as the New Jersey Assembly’s Environmental Committee was set to consider a bill banning the treatment or disposal of any wastewater from the controversial practice of fracking. The bill would ban the wastewater produced by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas, from coming across state lines – especially from Pennsylvania, home to the lucrative gas deposits of Marcellus Shale. Healy also spoke in favor of the proposed ban on the disposal of wastewater from fracking and urged those who oppose fracking to also speak out in opposition to the pipeline.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Morrill

a freelance arts and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in the Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal, the International and other publications. She is also a creative writer and theatrical director.